LIGHTWEIGHT: PINOY  PUMMELS  SWEDE; MIDDLEWEIGHT: PINOY LOSES TO RUSSIAN

Athens (Via Globe Telecom),  August 16, 2004  (STAR) By Lito A. Tacujan - Veteran Romeo Brin, a last-minute replacement for teammate Chris Camat as flagbearer of the RP delegation in the marchpast Friday, set in motion his bid for glory in his final Olympic stint when he pounded out a 43-35 decision over Swedenís Patrick Bogere in their lightwelterweight bout yesterday.

[PHOTO AT LEFT - Filipino boxer Christoper Camat absorbs a crunching left from Russiaís Gaydarbek Gaydarbekov in their preliminary 75-kg. middleweight match at the Peristeri Boxing Hall. Camat lost to the taller Russian, 13-35. - Photo by AFP ]

The victory came like a whiff of fresh air for the Philippine contingent, which suffered numbing losses in swimming and shooting and that of Camat, who bowed to a classy Russian rival in the first round of their middleweight clash.

The 32-year-old Brin, one of the few Filipino athletes who were three-time Olympians, piled up points in the early going then held his ground the rest of the way to bundle out his battle-tested Swede rival, who was born in Uganda and a quarterfinalist in the World in 2001 in Belfast.

Brin is making his farewell appearance in the Games, following a return from semi-retirement with a smashing result in Puerto Princesa although he will have his hands full when he faces tough Boonjumnong Manus of Thailand in the second round Thursday.

Earlier in the day, two Filipino swimmers started out strong but faded coming home in the second day of the event while the lone RP ace shooter lost a decent finish in the winds. 

Buhain exhorts Pinoy bets to give their best The Philippine Star 08/15/2004

ATHENS (Via Globe Telecom) ó Donít let this chance slip away.

In a few chosen words, this was how Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) chairman Eric Buhain exhorted the Filipino athletes who are all hoping for the best in the 28th Olympic Games here.

Buhain, a swimmer who won a total of 15 gold medals in the Southeast Asian Games, including six in its 1991 staging in Manila, visited the RP quarters inside the Olympic Village Saturday afternoon to meet the athletes.

The PSC chairman missed most of the 16 Filipino athletes who were out either in the competition or training venues. Buhain came with his wife, Batangas Rep. Eileen Ermita Buhain, and Tourism Secretary Roberto "Obet" Pagdanganan.

The tourism official who is also chairman of the 2005 Philippine SEA Games Organizing Committee (Philsoc), is here as the official representative of President Arroyo and First Gentleman Jose Miguel Arroyo.

"There are many who dream of earning slots in the Olympics, but only a few are lucky to make it," Buhain stressed. "Now that you are here, you have a rare opportunity to attain greatness. Donít let this chance slip away."

The Filipino athletes who had the chance to meet Buhain were swimmers Miguel Mendoza, Miguel Molina, Timmy Chua, JB Walsh and Jaclyn Pangilinan, and long jump specialist Lerma Bulauitan Gabito.

Buhain congratulated the swimmers putting up a fight last Saturday and urged them to continue training hard for next yearís SEA Games where the Philippines, as President Arroyo had said, should leave no stone unturned in its bid to win the overall title.

Pagdanganan, who joined the RP delegation in Friday nightís opening ceremony, also asked the swimmers to keep on training "because we need you for the 2005 SEA Games."

Pagdanganan said "we should start planning to win" by investing on trainors, coaches Ė local and foreign Ė and upgraded facilities.

"We are already far behind Asians like the Chinese, Koreans and Japanese and even our neighbors," Pagdanganan said. "If we donít move now, weíd be left far, far behind."

The Tourism official said itís time for Filipinos to "forget sports where we donít stand a chance of winning and concentrate on those events where height and weight donít matter."

"Let basketball entertain us, like what they do in the PBA. But letís not entertain hopes that we can be the best in the sport. Iíve seen how big and how tall cagers from other countries like the US, Angola, China and Italy are," added Pagdanganan.

Pagdanganan admitted that, at the moment, "government pays little attention to sports. But thatís because we lack resources. We should therefore try to tap the private sector to help us improve the quality of coaching ó and ultimately raise the standard of sports." ó Lito A. Tacujan


Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi

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